Banking spatially on the future: capital switching, infrastructure and the ecological fix

Brett Christophers, Noel Castree

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Since the 2007-8 global economic crisis, financiers and the institutions regulating their behavior have been subject to far-reaching criticism. At the same time, leading climate scientists have been telling politicians and publics that future environmental change may be far more profound than previously anticipated. Finance capital has long been a crucial mechanism for melting present solidities into air so as to create different futures. This paper asks what the prospects are for the switching of credit money into green infrastructures that is increasingly recognized to be necessary for climate change mitigation and (especially) adaptation purposes. Most research into geographies of finance has ignored ecological questions while few contemporary society-nature researchers examine major fixed capital investments. Unlike those economic geographers content to criticize capitalism without offering feasible alternatives, we take a pragmatic view underpinned by strong social-democratic and environmental values and attempt to identify leverage points for meaningful change. This programmatic paper identifies reasons and examples to be somewhat hopeful that current liquidity can be fixed in future infrastructures that might channel capital in less ecologically harmful directions, thereby addressing crucial extra-economic challenges for the century ahead.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-9
Number of pages8
JournalAnnals of the American Association of Geographers
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 28 Jan 2015


  • Finance capital; infrastructure, capital switching; climate change; regulation


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